6 December 2012

Obasanjo Calls for Peaceful Elections in Ghana

press release

Accra - Ghana — As Ghanaians go to the polls on Friday to elect a President and parliamentarians, the Head of ECOWAS Observation Mission to Ghana, Nigeria's former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has called on all political stakeholders in the country, especially politicians and their followers to eschew bitterness and violence so as to ensure peaceful, free and fair, transparent and credible elections. "We are here as witnesses because Ghana matters to Ghanaians, Ghana is important to West Africa, Africa and the world at large," Chief Obasanjo said on Ghana national television on the eve of the election, which is being observed by a 250-strong ECOWAS Observer team.

Repeating the same theme on a programme on national radio, he urged the country's politicians and their followers to trust established institutions – the judicial, electoral and security systems – and build on the blocks and reputation of peaceful elections in Ghana. The head of mission, who has interacted with various stakeholder institutions, including political parties and personalities since his arrival on Monday, said his delegation "is reasonably satisfied," with the level of preparation for Friday's balloting by 14.7 million biometric-registered voters, who will be electing a president and a 275-seat parliament. As with most elections, Chief Obasanjo said the country might be going through "an election fever," which is expected, expressing the hope that Ghanaians would live up to the country's reputation.

ECOWAS observers have been deployed to the 10 administrative regions of Ghana to cover much of the 26,000 polling stations on polling day. The regional Observation Mission will issue a Preliminary Declaration on Saturday on the conduct of the elections on Friday.

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